Delaware’s First Civil Union Couple: Drewry Fennell and Lisa Goodman

Being Civil: Two prominent players in the fight for equal rights are the state’s first couple to hold a civil union ceremony.



On Jan.1 of this year— an unseasonably warm, sunny day—Drewry Fennell and Lisa Goodman became the first couple in Delaware to be joined in a civil union.

To the more than 430 people who attended the ceremony at Wilmington’s Trinity Episcopal Church, it seemed utterly fitting that the two women should be the first to have their life partnership recognized under Delaware’s civil union law, which went into effect that day.

Goodman and Fennell, both lawyers, have been prominent in the fight for gender equality for some time. A partner at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, Goodman is president of Equality Delaware Inc., the organization that advocated for the civil union law. Fennell heads the state Criminal Justice Council and formerly led the ACLU’s Delaware chapter.

Joining their celebration that day were many of Delaware’s movers and shakers: U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, whose sermon earned sustained applause; Lt. Gov. Matt Denn; Congressman John Carney, and New Castle County Executive Paul Clark. Numerous other elected officials and members of the judiciary also attended.

It was a moving, uplifting event, many agreed. Some called it “perfect,” “joyous,” “a love fest.”

Then, the next day, The News Journal reported on the ceremony, and hatred intruded on this celebration of love.

A new policy at the Wilmington daily requires readers to submit comments through Facebook, thus eliminating anonymous postings. This has drastically reduced most of the hate-filled diatribes that had dominated the comments on some stories. The policy undoubtedly limited much of the vitriol that previously might have greeted news of the Fennell-Goodman union, and most of those who posted echoed the positive vibe of the previous day; but several reactions were reminders that the gay and lesbian lifestyle is still anathema to some Delawareans.

Goodman and Fennell say they didn’t read the comments. “I figured it was our day to celebrate and I wasn’t going to spoil it,” says Goodman.

The two women traveled significantly different paths to the Trinity Episcopal altar. Goodman, who is 48, grew up on a horse-breeding farm across from the Dilworthtown Inn, in nearby Pennsylvania. At an early age, she says, “I knew I was different, but back in the ’70s, in this area, I had no role models. I’m not even sure I was out to myself. It wasn’t until I went to college that I think I figured out there was a language [for being gay].”

In her early teens, she avoided coming to grips with her sexuality, choosing “to be busy with other things”—mostly learning to breed and train horses. But in eighth grade her “differentness” prompted a transfer from Tower Hill School—“a young lesbian woman did not fit back then”—to Unionville High School, where she melted mostly unnoticed into the large student body. Still, she admits high school “was difficult, because everyone wants to feel that they fit—somewhere if not everywhere.”

Goodman went to West Chester University, then UD for a master’s degree in literature. She was determined to be a college professor, but it was the ’80s, and jobs were scarce. So she fell back on what she knew and began training and showing horses and managing a large breeding farm and riding lesson program. 

That lasted five years—until, she says, “My bones were starting to break and not bend.” So she gave up horses and enrolled at Widener Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1994.

Meanwhile, Fennell, who is 51, was being brought up in what she calls “a liberal family” in Norfolk, Va. She was a junior at the University of Virginia when her father died suddenly at the age of 42. His death, she says, “took me off track,” and she dropped out of college. In 1983 she married Edward Godden, an Episcopal priest. When his calling brought the couple to Wilmington, Fennell finished her degree in English at UD.

The Goddens had three children, Mary Nash, Witt and Caroline, before divorcing in 1993. The next year, Fennell enrolled in Rutgers Law School in Camden, N.J., and graduated with honors in 1997. She then clerked for a year in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

While in that job, she attended a conference for women lawyers in Rehoboth Beach, where she met Goodman, who had joined Young Conaway. Fennell was soon hired by the firm and their relationship developed. By then both were completely out—Goodman had been since joining Young Conaway. They held a commitment ceremony in 2000, followed by a party attended by friends in the law firm. In 2001 the couple bought a large fixer-upper house in Mill Creek.

Fennell’s children, who were 9, 10 and 13 when the women became a couple, readily accepted Goodman as their second mother. Fennell and her ex-husband shared custody, and the children usually stayed with their father during the week and with their mothers on weekends, when Godden’s clerical duties took most of his time. In 1999, Goodman’s biological son, David Goodman, was born. He will be a seventh-grader at Tower Hill this fall. (Lisa Goodman says the attitude at Tower Hill has totally changed since her days there 30-odd years ago.) Fennell adopted David, and thanks to the civil union, Mary Nash, Witt and Caroline are Goodman’s stepchildren.

“We are a very 21st century family,” says Goodman.

That they have two mothers has had little effect on the children. “Most people find it interesting,” says Caroline, a senior at Syracuse. “I’m in a sorority and another of my sisters has two moms. It’s becoming more common. If people do have a problem with it, they usually avoid the subject.”

Witt, 23, a Tower Hill and Berklee College of Music alum, lives in Las Vegas with his male fiancé. He says any homophobia he encountered was always targeted at him, never his mothers. “Fortunately,” he says, “I was raised understanding that different doesn’t mean wrong, so by the time I came out, I was able to turn to anyone who commented and ask, ‘And your point is?’”

David says some people who learn about his two mothers are surprised or confused at first. “But after I explain it to them,” he says, “they don’t care.”

The children and Fennell and Goodman agree that Edward Godden has been totally supportive of the relationship.

Both women have been prominent in the fight for equal rights for the lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Delaware. While they’re quick to point out that choosing what some call “an alternative lifestyle” has been relatively easy for them, they have been exposed to anti-gay ugliness because of their activism. This is particularly true for Fennell. As director of the American Civil Liberties Union for a decade, she led the fight for anti-discrimination legislation in the state. But both women have war stories.

Ten days after their civil union, in a Young Conaway conference room, Goodman and Fennell spoke of their efforts. “It took 12 years to pass the anti-discrimination bill [House Bill 99] here,” said Goodman. “That made it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation in four areas: employment, housing, insurance, public accommodation. Drew organized the people who worked on it. To say it was not easy is an understatement. They [demonstrators] spat at her, she was pushed…”

Smiling, Fennell interrupted. “They spat in my path, they didn’t spit at me.”

That occurred in 2000, while HB 99 was being discussed in the legislature, and opponents of the legislation bused protesters into Dover.  

“People would get pretty angry and the rhetoric got ugly,” says Fennell. “There was a line outside the building and I had to walk by to get in. I heard ‘I’ll pray for you,’ but not in a tone of voice that indicates a blessing.”

Goodman says that during discussion of the bill, “One speaker explicitly blamed Sept. 11 on this country’s tolerance of the gay community. Another talked about how his brother had died of AIDS and how his family couldn’t minister to him because he wouldn’t repent.”

Despite the nastiness, Goodman was able to smile at some of the memories. “The opposition in large part was led by religious objections,” she said, “and I counted 11 times one day that I was told I was going to hell.”

The hostility convinced at least one legislator—Sen. Dave Sokola of Newark—to get behind the legislation. Former Rep. William Oberle, originator of the bill, had sent an email to colleagues, asking for co-sponsors. Says Sokola: “I told Bill I could probably support it but I didn’t want to deal with all the hate mail that goes with it. Well, I got hate mail and hate phone calls anyway, so I decided, you know what, if it’s that bad out there, I told him to add my name to the sponsors.”

Sokola was surprised at the level of bigotry he encountered. “I’ve run into gay people and a lot of what you’re told when you’re a little kid you find out is ridiculous. Some of these people [opponents] were my age or older, and I had to wonder what they were exposed to in their lives that made them feel that way and why they hadn’t been exposed to real gay and lesbian people. I’m really embarrassed today that I didn’t just say yes to Bill the first time I got an email from him, because it was the lazy thing to do—it wasn’t the right thing to do.”

Sen. Colin Bonini, Dover South, voted against both the anti-discrimination bill and the Civil Union Bill—passed in May of last year. Bonini objects to such legislation, he says, “Because civil unions lead to gay marriage, and I’m against gay marriages based on faith and also the significant financial cost to the state. The civil union bill will cost taxpayers several million dollars because we’re covering a group of people that were not covered before. We added a significant population to our benefit package at a time when we need to be going the other way. I think it’s poor public policy, mandating that taxpayers pay benefits for homosexual couples when they are morally opposed to homosexual couples.”

At the same time, Bonini, who has a gay sister, says he is “very fond of both Drew and Lisa, and I consider them friends.”

Perhaps the leading opponent of civil union legislation is the Delaware Family Policy Council. Nicole Theis, president of the council, declined to be interviewed for this story, submitting instead a 246-word statement she said had to be used in its entirety or not at all.

Goodman and Fennell, meanwhile, know there is still much work ahead. “Not everybody has been as fortunate as we have,” says Goodman. She says Equality Delaware is working to develop legislation covering the transgender community, which is not protected by hate crime legislation or anti-discrimination statutes.

And much remains to be done on the federal level. “We’re good as far as Delaware goes,” she says, “but we can’t collect Social Security survivor benefits, file a joint tax return, move freely from state to state and have our union recognized.” In fact, she says, “There are 1,831 instances under federal law where marital status is implicated.”

But allowing civil unions in Delaware was a major victory, and in the first month of its implementation, the state had issued 138 licenses for such unions.

Perhaps the best perspective on the issue was offered by Sally Oberle, wife of Bill Oberle, as she was leaving Trinity Episcopal on Jan. 1. “People are going to look back at this in a hundred years,” she said, “and wonder what was the big deal.”

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May 2016

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Sponsor: Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve
Telephone: 302-239-2385
Contact Name: Jesse Gagnon
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Dave Wakeling is a hell of a nice guy! Dave loves to tell you the stories behind his songs, either from stage or after the show. Ask any one of the thousands of fans who have met him over the years...

Cost: $22-32

Where:
World Cafe Live at the Queen
500 N Market St
Wimington, DE
View map »


Sponsor: World Cafe Live at The Queen
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern

More information

Dave Wakeling is a hell of a nice guy! Dave loves to tell you the stories behind his songs, either from stage or after the show. Ask any one of the thousands of fans who have met him over the years...

Cost: $22-32

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Sponsor: World Cafe Life
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern
Website »

More information

Month 4: Cochlear Implants Location: John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Christiana Hospital Campus, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, Classrooms 4, 5 & 6 To register, call (800)...

Where:
, DE

More information

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Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

The islands take over Cinco de Mayo with $5 Margaritas! From May 2 through May 5, celebrate with four tequila-filled-days of fun and over ten flavors of margaritas, including our handcrafted...

Cost: Cost of meal

Where:
Bahama Breeze
500 Center Blvd
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

Geared toward individuals 60 and over. Participants must be able to walk and stand. Walking aids—canes and walkers—are allowed. Wear comfortable clothing and stable shoes. Sneakers...

Where:
Bayhealth Physician Specialty Practice
315 N. Carter Road, Conference Room
Smyrna, DE
View map »

More information

Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Dr. Jeremy McInerney, Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, speaks about the Amazons in Greek legend and art. Who were these warrior women and why did they remain a source of...

Cost: $5

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Participate in a 2-hour training to learn how you can help improve Delaware’s waterways. Stories from across the nation highlight the importance of residents getting actively involved in...

Cost: Free

Where:
DuPont Environmental Education Center
1400 Delmarva Lane
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Clean Water: Delaware's Clear Choice Campaign
Telephone: 302-239-2334 ext. 13
Contact Name: Michael Bard
Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and Lewes Public Library present THEEB as May’s film for the Around the World series. THEEB, a coming-of-age adventure will screen at 7 p.m. on Wednesday,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Paula Cole has played before audiences all over the world, opening for artists like Peter Gabriel, Melissa Etheridge and Sarah McLachlan, and as part of the Lilith Fair lineup before she began...

Cost: $30

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Sponsor: World Cafe Live at The Queen
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern

More information

Free lecture on the advances of minimally invasive surgery and other solutions to prostate cancer. Men and women welcome. Location: John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Christiana Hospital...

Where:
, DE

More information

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Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

Spring Session: Thursdays from 9:30-12; first day is April 7 Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311) Join TLC for our Drop-In on...

Cost: TLC members Free, Non-members free for first session, $5 for pre-registration

Where:
Bucktoe Creek Preserve
432 Sharp Road
Avondale, PA  19311
View map »


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County
Telephone: 610-347-0347
Contact Name: Hannah
Website »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

More information

Rockford Tower opens for the season during the annual Flower Market, a spring tradition in Rockford Park.  Climb this historic structure and see the Flower Market and the city of Wilmington.  Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-577-7020
Website »

More information

96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market The 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market adds an extra evening of festival fun with WFM Rocks the Park on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
Wilmington, DE


Sponsor: Wilmington Flower Market
Website »

More information

The Show House will include a Boutique and Garden Shoppe with articles for sale from interior and landscape designers. 14 interior and landscape designers will transform a spacious home situated...

Where:
52 Rolling Rd.
Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

The islands take over Cinco de Mayo with $5 Margaritas! From May 2 through May 5, celebrate with four tequila-filled-days of fun and over ten flavors of margaritas, including our handcrafted...

Cost: Cost of meal

Where:
Bahama Breeze
500 Center Blvd
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

Geared toward individuals 60 and over. Participants must be able to walk and stand. Walking aids—canes and walkers—are allowed. Wear comfortable clothing and stable shoes. Sneakers...

Where:
Bayhealth Physician Specialty Practice
315 N. Carter Road, Conference Room
Smyrna, DE
View map »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Physician Network General & Bariatric Surgery will be hosting bariatric support groups on the first Tuesday and third Thursday of each month from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Nanticoke Memorial...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Sponsor: Nanticoke Physician Network General & Bariatric Surgery
Telephone: 302-629-6611 x 8810
Contact Name: Shelly Geis

More information

Patrick McGovern, Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages and Health, and his oft-times collaborator Sam Calagione, Founder and President of...

Cost: $20

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Games, food & fun for the whole family 68– p.m. at Smyrna Wesleyan Church Parking Lot

Cost: Free

Where:
Smyrna Wesleyan Church
433 West Commerce Street
Smyrna, DE  19977
View map »


Sponsor: SWC Family Nite
Telephone: 302-653-8440
Contact Name: Deb Souder
Website »

More information

Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Dr. Vicki Howard, Hartwick College, will recount the evolution of department stores from prominent locally owned institutions to stores that were part of national chains, and then to today’s...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
Soda House
298 Buck Rd.
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Location: Cheer Caregiver Resource Center, 20520 Sand Hill Road, Georgetown Time: 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. To register: Call Kathy Landis at 856-5187 or email...

Where:
, DE

More information

Location: Bayhealth Cancer Center, Milford Memorial Hospital, 21 W. Clarke, Ave., Milford, Lobby Time: 5–7 p.m. To register: Call Harriet Pinkston at 430-5143

Where:
, DE

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Join Kind to Kids Foundation and celebrate five years of helping Delaware children who are victims of child abuse, neglect, poverty and at-risk youth.  Register Now, this event sells out...

Cost: $40 per person or $300 per table of 8

Where:
Hotel DuPont, Gold Ballroom
11th & Market Streets
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Kind to Kids Foundation
Telephone: 302-654-5440
Contact Name: Jeanette De Bright
Website »

More information

The Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Yaprak Soysal during the month of May. “My Human and I” is an exhibition of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
820 N. French St.
Carvel State Office Building, 2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

New paintings and drawings by Philadelphia artist Ed Bronstein are featured in a solo show. Ed’s new work includes still life paintings, landscapes and city scenes from Delaware and the...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »


Website »

More information

The Show House will include a Boutique and Garden Shoppe with articles for sale from interior and landscape designers. 14 interior and landscape designers will transform a spacious home situated...

Where:
52 Rolling Rd.
Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

Rockford Tower opens for the season during the annual Flower Market, a spring tradition in Rockford Park.  Climb this historic structure and see the Flower Market and the city of Wilmington.  Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-577-7020
Website »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market The 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market adds an extra evening of festival fun with WFM Rocks the Park on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
Wilmington, DE


Sponsor: Wilmington Flower Market
Website »

More information

This year’s Tyler Arboretum Plant Sale offers gardeners the chance to “Take Tyler Home,” with a themed range of plants from Tyler’s meadows, trails, collections, and...

Where:
Tyler Arboretum
515 Painter Road
Media, DE  19063
View map »


Telephone: 610-566-9134
Contact Name: Gary Bloomer
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Health Services is again joining forces with the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce and the City of Seaford to promote women’s health awareness at the 3rd Annual LIVE FOR CHOCOLATE...

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Seaford
304 High Street
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Sponsor: Nanticoke Health Services, Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce, & the City of Seaford
Website »

More information

The Penn Museum's popular sleepover program, geared to ages 6 to 12 and their families or chaperones, invites guests to an overnight "expedition" of the Museum. The night's...

Cost: $55

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Join the fun at Friends for Rescue and Pet Care's Quarter Auction in Newark on Friday, May 6, 2016. At least 100 great prizes. Raise your paddles to win a prize for as little as 1, 2,...

Cost: $5 per paddle per attendee

Where:
Aetna Fire Hall
400 Ogletown Rd.
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Friends for Rescue & Pet Care
Telephone: 302-307-2980
Contact Name: Barbara
Website »

More information

Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

More information

Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Join our guides though historic Dover and its cemeteries by lantern light this spring. Space is limited; call (302) 739-9194 for reservations. Lantern tours cancelled due to inclement weather will...

Cost: $10 per person

Where:
First State Heritage Park
Johnson Victrola Museum
375 S. New Street
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

Location: Downtown Seaford Time: 5–9 p.m. Promotes women’s health awareness For more information, visit: www.nanticoke.org/liveforchocolate

Where:
, DE

More information

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First Saturdays in the First State   Programs and events on the first Saturday of each month. Sites are open, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., check website for...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
Dover, DE  19901
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Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
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Dover Days Celebration Held annually since 1933, Dover Days celebrates the Capital of the First State. An annual week-long celebration of Dover Days events takes place on April 30 - May 8;...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
43 The Green, 25 The Green
Dover, DE  19901
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Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
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New paintings and drawings by Philadelphia artist Ed Bronstein are featured in a solo show. Ed’s new work includes still life paintings, landscapes and city scenes from Delaware and the...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
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First Saturdays in the First State   Programs and events on the first Saturday of each month. Sites are open, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., check website for...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd N
Dover, DE  19901
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Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
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Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Rockford Tower opens for the season during the annual Flower Market, a spring tradition in Rockford Park.  Climb this historic structure and see the Flower Market and the city of Wilmington.  Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
2000 Lookout Drive
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Telephone: 302-577-7020
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Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
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Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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The Show House will include a Boutique and Garden Shoppe with articles for sale from interior and landscape designers. 14 interior and landscape designers will transform a spacious home situated...

Where:
52 Rolling Rd.
Henlopen Acres, Rehoboth Beach, DE
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Sponsor: Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach

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RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
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Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
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96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market The 96th Annual Wilmington Flower Market adds an extra evening of festival fun with WFM Rocks the Park on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m....

Cost: Free

Where:
Rockford Park
Wilmington, DE


Sponsor: Wilmington Flower Market
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Wilmington Garden Day offers an opportunity to stroll through some of the Brandywine Valley’s most enchanting gardens. Join us on this self-guided tour and plan a day that fits your scheduled....

Cost: $30

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
298 Buck Rd.
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Wilmington Garden Day
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Come celebrate the great outdoors at Taylors Bridge! Delaware Wild Lands is celebrating our latest conservation success — acquisition of the beautiful 1,250-acre Roberts...

Cost: Free

Where:
Taylors Bridge Roberts Farm
170 Staves Landing Rd
Townsend, DE  19734
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Sponsor: Delaware Wild Lands
Telephone: 302-378-2736
Contact Name: Wendy Scott
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Bill Dixon Yamaha Stunt Rider will be doing his thing on his Yamaha here at Powersports East on Saturday, May 7th at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.! Come out (FREE ADMISSION) and enjoy the show, while...

Cost: Free

Where:
PowerSports East
620 Pulaski HWY (Route 40)
Bear, DE  19701
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Sponsor: Powersports East
Telephone: 302-322-4120
Contact Name: Lynn Fasten
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Attend a Free Family and Community Concert May 7, 2016! Immerse yourself in a mystery about the most famous painting in the world as the Delaware Chamber Music Festival presents an animated...

Cost: Free

Where:
Laird Performing Arts Center of the Tatnall School
1501 Barley Mill Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Delaware Chamber Music Festival
Telephone: 302 442 0572
Contact Name: Kyle Bartlett
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This new walking tour tells remarkable stories of black powder explosions that occurred when Hagley was a gunpowder manufactory and the men and women whose lives were changed as a result. Tour...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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What better way to celebrate mom than enjoying "An Afternoon Paris"? You will be painting, sipping, enjoying Parisian treats on the patio of Cardinal Hollow Winery. Saturday, May...

Cost: $30 - $60

Where:
Cardinal Hollow Winery
1830 West Point Pike
Lansdale, PA  19486
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Sponsor: Creative Paint Events
Telephone: 267-312-8339
Contact Name: Charisse
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Stop by to see the Wilmington State Parks’ Naturalist at White Clay Creek State Park’s Creek Fest!   Join Delaware State Parks, White Clay Wild and Scenic Program, National Park Service, Suez...

Cost: Free with paid park admission

Where:
White Clay Creek State Park
880 New London Road
Newark, DE  19711
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Telephone: 302-577-7020
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Mispillion River Brewing will be hosting its second annual fundraiser, Short ‘N Stout, for the National Criminal Enforcement Association in honor of Patrolman Chad E. Spicer. The Short...

Cost: $25 in advance, $35 at the door

Where:
Mispillion River Brewing
255 Mullet Run St.
Milford, DE  19963
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Sponsor: Mispillion River Brewing
Telephone: (302) 491-6623
Contact Name: Lauren Bigelow
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Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
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Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
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Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

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Capital Ringers, community handbell ensemble, presents spring shows, “Bach to Rock!” Featuring music from Bach and Mozart to contemporary artists, the Capital Ringers 2016 Spring Concert Tour...

Cost: Freewill/Donations

Where:
Limestone Presbyterian Church
Wilmington, DE


Telephone: 302-632-3106
Contact Name: Linda Simms
Website »

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The Penn Museum's popular sleepover program, geared to ages 6 to 12 and their families or chaperones, invites guests to an overnight "expedition" of the Museum. The night's...

Cost: $55

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Capital Ringers, community handbell ensemble, presents spring shows, “Bach to Rock!” Featuring music from Bach and Mozart to contemporary artists, the Capital Ringers 2016 Spring Concert Tour...

Cost: $15pp/$25per family

Where:
The Smyrna Opera House
Smyrna, DE


Telephone: 302-632-3106
Contact Name: Linda Simms
Website »

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Painfully funny, technically ingenious, and viciously physical, this wild romantic comedy by England’s most popular living playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn features convoluted relationships worthy...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Just what is art and who gets to decide?    Raw and provocative, this the 2010 Tony Award winner for Best Play paints a mesmerizing portrait of master abstract painter Mark Rothko as he works...

Cost: $15-$29

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: 302-831-2204
Contact Name: REP Box Office
Website »

More information

Formed in 1992, Splintered Sunlight quickly became the most popular Grateful Dead Tribute band in the Philadelphia area, gaining praise from Dead Heads and Non Heads alike. Since that time,...

Cost: $12-15

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE
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Sponsor: World Cafe Life
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern
Website »

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Written by Nell Benjamin (playwright of "Because of Winn Dixie") Directed by Bud Martin The story: London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president...

Where:
Delaware Theatre Company
200 Water St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »

More information

Formed in 1992, Splintered Sunlight quickly became the most popular Grateful Dead Tribute band in the Philadelphia area, gaining praise from Dead Heads and Non Heads alike. Since that time,...

Cost: $12-15

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern

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Location: Tubman Garrett Park, Rosa Parks Drive, Wilmington Time: Registration: 7:30 a.m. Race start: 8:45 a.m. Fee: $25 (until the Thursday before the race at noon) $30 after and day of...

Where:
, DE

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